Where did April come from?
This monthly wrap-up post is a little delayed, simply because I seemed to find it hard to believe that it is now already April. Oops..! It's going to be a little… weirder… for me to write these posts as I'm now doing it in the confines of the WYSIWYG editor within Shopify — where my website is now located. But let's talk about that in a tick, shall we?
Five years old!
If you don't follow me on the 'gram, you might not know that April 1st (yes, in hindsight I timed that magnificently 🤣) of 2023 marked Two Little Kits turning 5-years-old!
Back then, in 2018, all I was doing was custom stitch portraits. No patterns, no merch - nothing else! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would build up a business of patterns and everything that followed.
To celebrate this awesome anniversary, I decided to hold a giveaway for someone to win a 4-character stitch portrait as well as have a little over 24hrs of a store discount. I can only hope the person who wins the giveaway is excited!
Of course, it was also the same time as this website update. So let's read on about that..! 👇
So, you're likely reading this on my website. And if so, I'm assuming (if you've been here before) that you've noticed a few small (read: actually big!) changes around the place…
That's because everything has been revamped!
I talked in length over many FlossTube videos that my website was causing me some grief, as I basically out-grew what it was.
Not to go into too much detail, but basically I was hand-coding my website before, building it with Jekyll and using Gumroad as my ecommerce platform. This was great!.. back when I started.
Now, as of writing, I have the following:
As you might be able to imagine, that's a lot to juggle when you're not using a dedicated back-end platform, especially one that isn't designed for larger-scale shops.
So why Shopify?
I did a lot of research, soul-searching and trial and error (EG: for about 9 months, I tried a similar ecommerce setup called Snipcart, which also didn't work out the way I wanted) and Shopify always came out on top. Sometimes as the lesser of two(/many) evils. It's not perfect -if I could change the slug of "/pages" and "/collections" in my URLs, I would be a very happy woman- but for what I currently have and what I plan on doing with Two Little Kits, it is covering a lot more bases than I had covered before.
If you are wanting to start your own ecommerce website, you can use this link to get $100 off your subscription.
Works in progress
Because I was fervently working on getting my new website up and running before April 1st, there really isn't a huge amount of stitchy work done during March.
I completed part 3 of the current stitch-along I'm working on as well as work on 2 portraits I have going on. One is a commissioned piece, the other is the winner of a silent auction I donated a portrait to, to help out my kids' school.
Have a look below for where they're at as of the end of March.
After working on this piece off-and-on for ~13 months, I finally put the finishing stitches into my " Pretty Little LA" cross-stitch!
I definitely prefer how "Pretty Little Sydney" looks as a completed piece at the moment (I could be bias though), but it's so awesome to have two of the three cities finished now.
I do need to whip out the bleach and fix a small stain at the bottom-right of the fabric (thank goodness I stitched it on pure-white Aida fabric), but it will now sit rolled up, alongside Sydney, ready and waiting to be eventually framed.
The third city I'll be stitching by Satsuma Street is Seattle. The reason for these three is because they are 3 of her [currently available] cities that my husband and I have lived in!
Because of the work needed to release the new website, I wasn't able to keep up with releasing 2 new patterns last month. But I did manage to get one up! 🤩
But the other thing I worked on was some new merchandise and apparel pieces, which I'm really pleased with! I'm happy to even be able to say that the new t-shirt design has been purchased twice already - and I haven't even really promoted the new design anywhere..! So that's excellent.
I already have the next design almost completed and I'll be ordering my own sampler before releasing it this time, so I have something physical I can show off in my own social posts [and such]. I'm excited!
Some sneaky, new merchandise and apparel!
Aside from the above, here's a few things that I got up to over the course of March.
New family member
So I'm going to write a proper post about him, but we welcomed a new family member to our home; Noodle the cat. He's a 3-month-old Ragdoll kitten and he's so sweet and cheeky.
My husband and I have been talking about getting a third cat for quite some time now (after we learnt the hard way that we are -in fact- not a dog family). We have felt like we truly only have "one cat" as Zoe is extremely anti-social to the point of biting us if we try to give her any affection for more than 5.78 seconds. Plus, we knew Milo would love a playmate.
So he's been with us for 3 weeks now and he has fit right in. Even Zoe only hissed at him <half a dozen times..! I call that a success.
Surgery #3 on my poor toe
The saga of my busted toe continues, as I underwent yet another surgery on my toe. This time, it was much more minor of a procedure (I didn't have to go to sleep for it) as I was getting the second [and last] screw removed from my foot. I didn't even get any sutures afterward..!
If you don't know, back on Halloween 2021 I shattered the bone in my left big toe. It never healed correctly and starting in September 2022, I had the first surgery to help repair it, after trying numerous, less-invasive things to help it heal properly (and those failing).
I will likely never be able to bend my toe again, let alone have full mobility of the toe like it was beforehand. But the ball of my foot works as intended, so my daily movement is not limited. I have had to adjust how I get up off the floor, basically.
It's not the ideal result but my doctor and I are still meeting to see how things are going. Wish me luck!
New belt colour!
The surgeries I had from my toe held me back after I received my yellow-stripe belt last year, so I am happy to say I finally went up in rank in martial arts in March!
It was difficult physically to get back into classes after having to take a 4 month hiatus, but earning that new belt (let alone a new colour!) made it 100% worth it. Plus I had forgotten how crazy but fun belt test classes were..!
The cycle we're in now is a 'punching' cycle which I -for some reason- find harder than a 'kicking' cycle. But I'm happy that it's seeming easier than the last punching cycle I was in (just before the first surgery happened). So that's a positive!
Thanks so much, once again, for reading this post! I seriously brain-farted and completely forgot about this post needing to be written for almost the first full week of April. But we got there..!
Hopefully I will be better at taking relevant photos going forward. I definitely feel like some things are missing... hmm.